Beached Seal Pup

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tuesdays are usually consumed with preparation for Captain DeBery coming in his boat to pick us up on Wednesday morning at seven.  Most of the day was spent in thick fog and rain so we had no visitors and were able to accomplish a lot of indoor chores.  I vacuumed and France cleaned and dusted the museum and gift shop.  Friends from New York are due this Saturday for almost a week and board members from FOSI will stay for two nights arriving noon tomorrow.  Then there’s a reporter named Stella who wants to come in the morning to interview us.  Here’s the e-mail I sent:

Hi Chris, Amy and Dee,

We are really looking forward to your visit.  Yesterday on shore, the FOSI purchased a big Weber charcoal grill that I assembled last night.  It’s a beauty and it’s heavy.  They are hoping that we will make good use of it this weekend and it is a much-appreciated addition to the island.  We were expecting a couple, who I’ve heard are lots of fun, and both are board members.  Long story short, it may now be as many as five or six altogether.  They’ve invited France and I to share a meal of lobster and clams tomorrow night.  There’s no way to cook lobster here other than to use our kitchen (unless you boil water in the lobster pot on the grill) so we’ll be one big happy family for the evening. As far as Saturday night goes, we’ve planned a simple no fuss meal because of your arrival late in the afternoon.  DD (the spokesperson for the group) has said she will consult her folks to see how they want to proceed on that score.  They were going to grill something and will decide if it should be a combined affair or that we each plan our own thing.  Either way, it will be fun and we’ll all coexist amicably, I’m sure.

We sort of planned meals for when you are here and when we got back last night we realized that we’d have to freeze some things we plan to eat later in the week.  Briefly, we have sweet and hot Italian sausages and burgers, scallops, cod, a pork roast, corn on the cob, salad, breakfast stuff, grapefruit, apples, wine, beer, zucchini, red and green peppers, etc.  If you need soda or seltzer, please bring it.  We didn’t think of that.  I may run out of blueberries if I make a pie and the bananas are in short supply.  Other than that, don’t load yourselves down unnecessarily.  We have rain jackets here so just bring layers and shorts and comfortable shoes and you’ll be all set.

We also got a new weed whacker yesterday (the old one is in for repair).  Maybe we can put you to work.

Ethan may bring a group out on Sunday night to watch the fireworks on the mainland.  I’m told you can see them all around but you can’t hear them.  There may be some on Monday night as well.  Chris, maybe we can talk again before you come to go through last minute details.  Ethan would like to take you on his trip with a sunset cruise at 6:30 on Saturday night and drop all of you here on the way. He’ll be using his big boat which means not the dock on the left with the ramp in Popham, but the one on the right that has a ladder down to the boat.  Low tide makes load in a little tricky but on Saturday it’s high at 4:52PM so you’ll be fine.  He also has a nice dingy with this boat so we may not even use ours.  Please call us when you leave the mainland so we can meet you in the cove.

We can’t wait for your arrival.

Best,

Michael

Because we were a little worried about the tram for Wednesday morning as it had died when Jim left with his welding equipment after getting the flagpole back up, we loaded it up and went down early.  Dave had come out with diesel fuel and fixed it but we weren’t sure it would run for us.  Watching him work on an engine is like watching a seaman in the engine room of a submarine.  He knew every inch of it and could grease it and prime it and coax it in every way possible to make it hum, which included a new fuel filter and cleaning the air filter with ether.

So there we sat with the dingy loaded at six ten wondering what to do with the next hour before the arrival of the boat.  Just sitting there in the peace of the cove watching the nasty gull who always squawks at us tend her chicks, which have hatched, and not fuss with us much at all, and listen to the waves lap the shore, search the rock crevasses for muscles and try to name the other birds we could hear and see, was heaven.  That and munching on the carrot muffins I’d brought to eat with Ethan on the boat made the time pass quickly.  Ethan came with his friend Lindsay who climbed down to pick France’s new glasses off a beam under the dock, where they fell when France bent over loading our stuff on the return trip.  That was lucky!  She even made a trip in Ethan’s dingy with the second load of our stuff in the cove.

France has been out most of the day with the new weed whacker on the north trail.  I went down to the cove with a couple, who kayaked in from Popham, to see the seal pup they said had beached itself.  We finally coaxed it back into the water but later in the day, a family said it was back on the sand.  I’ve learned that they do this from time to time just to take a break and eventually they return on their own.  I hope so.  Ethan said he hoped it didn’t die on the beach because they smell real bad.  Dave wrote back:

Maybe he wants a tour! Just leave him alone and try to give him space and make sure everyone else does too. He is young and may just need a rest in a quiet place. Seguin is good for that. I am off to the White mountains. Dave

I cleared some of the branches and brush that had encroached on the steps to the beach and the trail up to the lighthouse while several families with children and a grandfather who is eighty came up for a tour.  Most of them stayed to hike a trail or two and when the rain came briefly, one party had a picnic on the front porch.  I was glad to be left with the grandfather who’d hurt his knee, for a nice chat on the porch.  He has a summer place on the Kennebec and had lots of stories to tell about the locals.

Because one of us needs to stay here in case we do have visitors, I’ve busied myself with a lot of work in and around the house.  The beds in the guest quarters are all made up and the museum and gift shop dusted.  When France is around for the tours we get a lot of donations and revenue from sales of some of the lovely items in the gift shop.  I’m not so fortunate.  Today we took in, with probably a total of twelve adults, and about eight children visiting, well, not a red cent.  They all seemed to enjoy themselves.  They loved the tour of the lighthouse and the view from the catwalk outside at the top.  Maybe I should have changed my shirt after working on the trail.

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